January 2012 Issue

Page 1


India's Only Cultural Magazine for Global Citizens

VOLUME 2, iSSUE 11 January 2012

Brought to you by Global Adjustments

symbols of prosperity


culturama | January 2012

D e a r

R e a d e r s

Our Creative head Jayakrishna Behera and Associate Editor Lakshmi Krupa work with Devdutt Pattanaik, along with Editor-inChief Ranjini Manian

For our New Year’s special issue we had a Guest Editor at Culturama! Devdutt Pattanaik - India’s wellknown author (of 23 books), illustrator, speaker and mythologist par excellence. Our previous Guest Editors include Viswanathan Anand - World Chess Champion and Nandan Nilekani –Co Founder Infosys – 100 Most Influential people of the world. WEISS (German), Vit (Swedish), Wit (Afrikaans) Vellai(Tamil),or White. There is something beautifully pure about thecolour isn’t it? I was delighted when French photo artist Pascal Reynaud created this image of the Indian national bird, flower and animal all in a pristine white for the cover of Culturama January 2012. It seems to predict pure beauty, joy and splendor that this New Year we hope will bring to all our readers. My team and I had a wonderful close to 2011. We spent the last few weeks organising events for our expatriate and Indian clients, readers and friends between Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad with Beautiful India photo competitions and conversations about Upworldly Mobile. It has been a great honour for me that this book which captures real stories about culturally intelligent interactions with the various nationalities, that my team at Global Adjustments came across, has made it to the Times of India’s Top Ten Non Fiction list, and has inched its way over the bookshelves of Landmark bookstores to “Top Selling books” category too. We thank Dr. Shashi Tharoor, MP, former UN Undersecretary General, who spoke brilliantly on this topic of cultural assumptions which must be intelligently made, in his riveting book launch speech in Delhi at the Park hotel. Next, we had brilliant moments with photo winners in Delhi and Bangalore. And then we were asked to come to Hyderabad to share thoughts on Upworldly Mobile in the Facebook India office. All in all, a time to renew our pledge to “create empowered global citizens, through real life solutions, using our India expertise” by all my team at Global Adjustments, who also bring you this magazine every month on month. Beginning with this issue, useful even in Russia, we bring to you an all new Holistic Living - excerpts that help understand India's best gift to the world, Bhagavad Gita, interpreted in a new book featuring Eknath Easwaran's works. We thank the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation and Nilgiris Press for exclusive permission to reprint the series. Ranjini Manian Editor-in-Chief To contact me directly, e-mail globalindian@globaladjustments.com

Have you liked us yet? We are at www.facebook.com/gaculture and bring to you exciting video excerpts from facebook CEO, Devdutt Pattanaik and Shashi Tharoor.

culturama | january 2012


contents 10 Coffee & Conversation

All Work, All Play

14 A-Z of INdia

All that Glitters

Our cover image this month, in pure white symbolises the beginning of a New Year. Representing India's national animal - the tiger, national flower - the lotus, national bird - the peacock, it is also a tribute to our nation, as we celebrate our 62nd Republic Day on January 26.

18 curry country

Savouring Saffron 24 Feature

Of Spires and Steeples 28 Look who's in town

Chennai, Bengaluru and Delhi


30 View from the top Cover Art paSCAL REYNAUD, FRANCE

Dilli Heart

48 Star struck

Meet the President

40 Calendars


Ranjini Manian

business head susanna kurian Associate Editor

Lakshmi Krupa

Assistant Editor

vatsalya janani

creative head

JayaKrishna Behera

Associate Designer

Prem Kumar


Delhi, Mumbai. Bengaluru and Chennai

42 holistic living

King's Plight

46 Photo feature

New Beginnings

Chennai rohini chandrakumar, trishla jain Preeti Bindra, Ruchika Srivastava

Mumbai & Pune

Farah Bakhshay, Ashish Chaulkar

Advisory Committee

56 india & I

Waiting for the Mahatma Hierarchy Hiccups

64 cause and effect


Culture Conserve Connect

65 tales of india

Simplicity of Power 66 Must Stop over

The Eternal Moment 70 space and the city

Mumbai/Pune Rustom Court, 2nd Floor, Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400030. Tel.+91-22-66104191/2 E-mail: mum@globaladjustments.com

culturama | January 2012

Different Expressions

Heart of Art

Delhi-NCR Level 4, Augusta Point, DLF Golf Course Road, Sector-53, Gurgaon - 122 002. Haryana. Tel.+91-124-435 4236. E-mail: del@globaladjustments.com


62 bursting the bubble

Bengaluru 216, Prestige Center Point, Off Cunningham Road, 7, Edward Road, Bengaluru 560052. Tel.+91-80-41267152/41148540. E-mail: blr@globaladjustments.com

Published and owned by Ranjini Manian at #5, 3rd Main Road, Raja Annamalai Puram, Chennai – 600028 and printed by K Srinivasan of Srikals Graphics Pvt Ltd at #5, Balaji Nagar, 1st Street, Ekkattuthangal, Chennai – 600032. Editor: Ranjini Manian


Timeri N Murari, N Ram, Elaine Wood, James J Williams, G Venket Ram, Carmen HUTHOEFER-HEINRICH

Chennai 5, 3rd Main Road, R. A. Puram, Chennai 600028, India. Telefax. +91-44-24617902 E-mail: designstore@globaladjustments.com

Destiny's Child


Bengaluru mukundan T Delhi-NCR




culturama | january 2012


India on your fingertips

Letters to the Editor

Andhra Pradesh

Dear Editor, Loved the cover of your previous issue! Very vibrant and thematic. Soumya Balakrishnan, Delhi

Also called: The Rice Bowl of India Andhra Pradesh is the largest producer of the southern staple food- rice. Almost 50% of its population are farmers. Official language: Telugu

Dear Editor,

State symbol: Poorna Kumbham

Having lived in Mumbai, I did not know about the December music season that sees so many talented artistes coming together for music. I appreciate your efforts in helping us understand cultures of various parts of India. Norma Wood, South Africa Dear Editor, I am a regular reader of Culturama. I am extremely happy to read your announcement made in your Editorial on the inclusion of Devdutt Pattanaik's column that would adorn Culturama's pages from December. T.V. Gopal, Chennai

This combination of pot, coconut and mango leaves is considered very auspicious in India. It welcomes all the good things in life. State capital: Hyderabad (Pearl City) Pink, grey, lavender or black, pearls of all colours and sizes are found in Hyderabad. Famous landmark: Charminar This six centuries-old structure, is the icon of Hyderabad. Constructed in the Islamic architectural style, this monument has four towers. It is surrounded by a bustling bazaar filled with the famous Hyderabadi bangles! Delicacy: Spicy Gongura pachadi With the tanginess of the greens, nutty flavor of sesame and aroma of spices, Gongura pachadi is indeed a treat to the taste buds. It is often mixed with rice and savoured with raw onions. This new column will talk about a state in India every month. We start alphabetically with Andhra Pradesh.


culturama | January 2012

culturama | january 2012



culturama | January 2012

culturama | january 2012





l a k s h mi k r upa




All Work All Play


Coffee & Conversation



tes age for some artis all the world’s a st at th id th. sa on ve m ha t this While the bard may the artiste we mee r fo so ly lar cu rti e world. Pa name instantly all the stage is th und her métier, a fo g tin ac in o, wh , en. Ratna Pathak Shah all and silver scre s – the stage, sm rm fo at pl ss ro ra ac ai vs Sa bhai on recognisable shows like Sarabh th wi p, ou gr tre ea ly expanded With Motley, her th Na, she has steadi e an Ja Ya Tu e an s like Ja certain sense of television and film reflects quality, a at th rk wo e lud inc Listen in as her repertoire to rking for quantity. wo to d se po op as ss nviction social consciousne aesthetics and co , women in India, tre ea th of e at st e she talks about th seeruddin Shah. d veteran actor Na an d an sb hu , se and of cour Photo Tejal Shah


culturama | January 2012

We meet Ratna Pathak Shah ahead of a play, when she makes some time for a quick chat, taking a few minutes here and a few there to instruct the light men and the carpenters on how to do up the set even as we try to catch a closer glimpse of her life. The usually elusive actor is alone in the hall and is comfortably perched on a bench poring over notes and getting the space ready for the night. A fan of the no-frills school with a clear What You See is What You Get Attitude, she takes on each question as she flits between her many roles. An artiste, creator, mother, wife, woman, socially conscious citizen… Of all the work you do, theatre, as we can all agree, appears to be closest to your heart. What about the theatre is it that you enjoy the most? After all these years, I continue to enjoy the challenges and the difficulties of theatre as a medium. Bringing something on to the stage is a very large process. One that we enjoy greatly and that is fascinating. The best thing about theatre is that you are dealing with some of the best writing in the world. Motley is among the only theatre crews in the country to perform Urdu plays. And these have found patrons even in South India, where the language is less common. How did you make this happen? Many people ask us if we are as comfortable performing Urdu plays as we are with our English ones. Honestly, to me they are both the same. No one speaks Shakespearan English anymore. And yet Shakespeare continues to dominate our theatre. How is Urdu any different? Having said that I find speaking Urdu as much a challenge and that is part of the fun. To be able to communicate to the audience transcending the language barrier. And I am happy that we managed to fill theatre seats. Language is such a sensitive topic in India, isn’t it? Certainly. We are a large country and while it is great that we are all able to carry on our linguistic roots, we must understand that for most people in the country English serves as the link language. I do not subscribe to the oversensitive, parochial view of changing names of roads and buildings and states. There are hundreds of other things to do. Who are some of your favourite directors? Satyadev Dubey is a wonderful director. As is Naseeruddin Shah., and not just because I am married to him. Both of them have been a huge influence.

There is a much larger talent pool available and good Indian writing too. This means that more people can now be accommodated. I am very hopeful about theatre's future

You have also been involved in various social causes over the years. What would your comment on the overall state of affairs be? Particularly for women. I would say that for a large number of Indians all the crucial parameters such as the access to a safe, dignified life – answers to fundamental questions remain unanswered. But I suppose in India we do have a distinct sense of what/who is dispensable. We have a fast and two people come and shoot this on TV and then move on. But I do think that we have made some strides in the quality of life for women. What women pre-Independence had was far lesser than what I had. Now what my daughter has is definitely more. There are more life choices. Even in terms of caste relations things have changed. In my opinion, the old time baggage needs to be dumped. What about theatre today? There have been significant changes. There is a much larger talent pool available and good Indian writing too. This means that more people can now be accommodated. I am very hopeful about its future because somewhere around 1974 I was told theatre was about to die. It has been given a new lease of life. Which is your favourite city to perform in? Bengaluru, undoubtedly. The people there are genuinely interested in theatre and have all the least hang-ups. The audience there comes out and watches all kinds of things. Editor's Note: Watch Naseeruddin Shah’s unique film, if you haven’t already, “A Wednesday” an Indian movie largely in English, with a superb twist at the end!

culturama | january 2012


Looking for a corporate gift

this New Year?

How about India’s first Customised Cultural Intelligence tool?

An excerpt from Shashi Tharoor’s speech at the Upworldly Mobile launch: Upworldly Mobile is not just useful but necessary today. The story goes back before our Green Revolution in 1960s, where America used to advise us on farming. And the story goes – an US agricultural expert shows up at this Indian farm, where he is welcomed by this dearness and hospitality Indian farmers have – e.g. like in Punjab and he says “welcome to my farm, we are very proud of it. Do you see that national highway?” – The American looks but sees a dirt road. And the farmer says, “See that river, my land is all over up to there.” And the American looks and sees a trickle of water – and the Punjabi says very proudly, “My land goes all the way up to there.” And then he says to the American “what about you?”. And the American is a farmer from Kansas, one of these Midwestern states, where the green fields roll on for miles without end. So he says “well in the morning I get into my tractor and it takes me 2 hours to the Southern boundary of the farm and then it takes me 3 hours in my tractor to the Western boundary of my farm – there I break for a sandwich – so then it takes me two and a half hours to the northern boundary of my farm – in my tractor...” And the Indian was nodding the whole time very sympathetically, “I know, I know” the Indians says. “I too used to have a tractor like that”. This was to show that cultural understanding is not only about literal understanding – all understanding depends on what your assumptions are. Among the many insights in Ranjini’s book that Indians will have to master, as they grow into a world of cultural engagement with the rest of the globe in the 21st century. So I am very pleased that this book exists... For further details, email globalindian@globaladjustments. com, or go to http://www.globaladjustments.com/wpblog

Interactive demos of “what’s in a name”

Kirthiga Reddy, CEO India Facebook and Ranjini Manian at Facebook, Hyderbad

“Thank you for your wonderful visit to Facebook Hyderabad. Your "what's in a name?" demo was eye-opening and all your other insights on being a Global Indian! A huge thanks for the mindexpanding, entertaining session! Best wishes for a rocking success for your book!” — Kirthiga Reddy, CEO, Facebook India

Find Upworldly Mobile - Behaviour and Business Skills for the New Indian Manager at leading bookstores across India or log on to www.penguinbooksindia.com ISBN 978-0-143-06803-7


culturama | January 2012

culturama | january 2012


Vatsa l y a J anani

A to Z of India


GLITTERS Literally meaning nine gems, the Navaratnas hold an esteemed position in this land of mystique beliefs, not just for their beauty and value but also for their ‘magical’ and medicinal properties. They are also astrologically important, as each of these gems represents a planet in our solar system. No WONDER, JEWELLERY IS A THRIVING BUSINESS IN INDIA.

Blue sapphire

Many wear this gem only on the advice of an astrologer as blue sapphire symbolises Saturn. Shani, as this planet is called, is the most feared planet as it is capable of bringing drastic effects. This gem is said to increase longevity and strengthen bones.

Coral Cat's Eye This again is a tricky gemstone that has to be set according to one’s horoscope. When done right, this gem brings tremendous luck, serenity and happiness. It represents the planet Pluto.


culturama | January 2012

Mars is a planet that radiates masculine energy and the coral, which represents this planet, signifies masculinity. It is also said to calm the nerves and build up muscles.

culturama | january 2012


Diamond Venus is the Greek goddess of love and femininity. Incidentally, the gemstone representing this planet is also known as a girl’s best friend - diamond. Diamonds are very rare and are one of the most sought-after gemstones. They signify physical beauty and mental clarity. They are believed to bring wealth and marital happiness to the wearer.

Emerald Green is the colour of prosperity and this gem is believed to bring more of it. It is also said to promote health, strengthen the lungs and even fight cancer. Emerald represents Mercury.

Garnet Garnet is said to guard the wearer against poisons and diseases and promote health and cheerfulness. It represents the planet Neptune.

Pearl A symbol of purity and love, pearls also represent femininity and love. It is believed to improve fertility and calm nervous dispositions. Pearl represents the moon.

Ruby This deep red gem signifies power and authority. It is said to stimulate blood circulation and improve the spirit of the wearer. Ruby represents the sun and is called 'Ratnaraj 'in Sanskrit, meaning- the king of gems.

Yellow sapphire According to Indian astrology, Jupiter is considered to be a harbinger of good luck. This stone representing Jupiter, legend has it, brings wealth, improves intellect and brings luck.


culturama | January 2012

culturama | january 2012


N is h a T h o mas

Curry Country

Savouring Saffron The biriyani is a quintessential Indian food. At once reminding one of homemade spicy food and adding a touch of grandeur to the dining table with its rich taste and Mughlai roots. Here’s an easy, quick replacement for the biriyani

AFTER all the feasting and merry making during Christmas and New Year, you'd think you want to mellow down a bit on the food end, but that rarely happens in my household. Among us Syrian Christians (the foremost Christians from the southern coastal state of Kerala), December and January see the maximum number of weddings. I myself got married in January, so had my parents, and just last year my brother joined the bandwagon. After a point your body screams for some rest, but your mind wants to go on and on, why, because poor souls like us who head down to India once a year find it sacrilegious to not eat all that homemade food we long for once we are back in the "bland" hands of steamed vegetables and casseroles of the West . This recipe was the aftermath of a (marathon) wedding season last year, where every other day we had to attend a wedding and the ever popular biriyani was the star item when it came to food. By the time it was my parents' turn to be the hosts we were all vetoing the biriyani idea. But we still needed enough variety when it came to entertaining guests who were staying over as early as a week before the wedding, and so one night my mom and I poured over this rather unassuming cook book called 200 Curries, by Sunil Vijaykar, stumbled upon the chicken pilaf recipe and there was no looking back. Since then, it has made numerous appearances at my dining table and has never failed me. It is a very easy recipe to follow and the saffron adds a distinct flavour, separating it a wee bit from the biriyani,but at the same time lending all the grandeur and flavours a Mughlai biriyani would have. It is my 'go to' recipe when I crave biryani but have no time or patience for the elaborate process. It takes less than an hour to prepare and the best part is that the recipe is pretty forgiving. You can replace the chicken with paneer for a vegetarian version, prawns for a seafood version or just do a plain saffron version if serving with a meat-based curry. I hope you will enjoy this aromatic chicken pilaf as much as I did.


culturama | January 2012

culturama | january 2012








Saffron-scented Chicken Pilaf Ingredients 350 gm boneless chicken breast or thighs (approx. 4 large chicken thighs/breasts) 1 cup (200 gm) Basmati rice 2 tbsp yoghurt 1 tsp coriander powder 2 tsp chilli powder 2 tsp curry powder 1 tsp cumin seeds 2 cardamom pods 2 cloves 1 inch-long cinnamon stick 1 bay leaf 1 large red onion, thinly sliced 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 1 tbsp milk 1/4 tsp saffron threads 1/2 cup frozen green peas 2 cups (approximately 500 ml) chicken stock Salt 1 tbsp oil, plus enough to fry the shallots 3 to 4 shallots (small onions), sliced lengthwise 1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped finely for garnish Salt


Clean and slice the chicken into small bite size pieces and marinate with yoghurt, coriander powder, chilli powder and curry powder for about 1/2 an hour or, if you have time, longer in the refrigerator. Wash the rice till water runs clear and then soak in warm water for a while. Warm the milk a bit and soak the saffron threads in them. When you are ready, place a deep, heavy chef’s pan on medium high heat and pour in 1 tbsp of oil. When the oil is really hot, add the marinated chicken and cook, stirring continuously, for about 5 minutes or till the chicken is cooked completely. Drain and keep aside. Into the same pan throw in the spices – cumin seeds, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaf and wait for them to sizzle and release the aroma. In go the onions and garlic, and sauté till they wilt and turn a golden brown.


culturama | January 2012

Add the frozen peas and precooked chicken and sauté on medium heat, just to thaw the peas. Add the drained rice and stir it in gently, so that all of the ingredients are well combined. Into the chicken stock, add the saffron milk and give a gentle stir. Colour will change, but that's fine really. Also, do a taste test to check for salt. When the rice becomes a bit glazy add the chicken stock, season with salt and give a final stir. Close with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 15 minutes or till the rice is perfectly cooked.

While the rice is cooking, heat some oil in a sauce pan and fry the shallots till crispy and brown. Drain on paper towels and keep them ready. When the rice is cooked, take it off the flame and leave it covered for a further five minutes. Then fluff the rice using a fork and transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with the fried onions and coriander leaves and serve with some cucumber raitha (diced cucumber in yogurt mixed with salt and cumin powder), pickle and crispies like pappad or chips.

culturama | january 2012



culturama | January 2012

culturama | january 2012



S usan P h i l ip


culturama | January 2012

photo Melissa Enderle, USA

Of spires and steeples Christianity arrived in India well before it did at several places in the planet… Legend has it that Christianity came to India soon after the death of Christ. There was already a flourishing trade route between India and the Middle East, and an extant Jewish community on the Malabar Coast. St. Thomas probably took a trade ship to India, intending primarily to preach the Gospel to the Jews. This would have been roughly around the same time as St. Paul and St. Peter were preaching in Greece, Antioch, Rome and the areas round about. As It Happened Christianity first took root in what is now Kerala. St. Thomas moved further, preaching, and came to the Chennai area. He worked around present-day Mylapore area while living in a cave in what is now called “Little Mount”. He is believed to have been killed on a hill, which now bears his name – St. Thomas Mount. He left behind a thriving community of believers, particularly in Kerala. They became organised later, with the arrival of Christians from Edessa. In the AD 325 exercise of formulising the faith of the universal church at the Council of Nicaea (the outcome being the Nicene Creed central to Christian liturgy), participants representing world Christian bodies included one Bishop John, Bishop of Persia and Greater India. This goes to show that Christianity was a strong force in India even at that time. Clergy and Bishops originally came from

Babylon, and later from Antioch, to minister to the believers in Kerala. The community was known as Syrian Christians. To give a very condensed version of history, schisms occurred, the original church saw splits. The authority of the Patriarch of Antioch was acknowledged by some, rejected by others in India. Local people were consecrated as priests and Bishops. Further splits occurred with reform movements taking place within the groups. But the community in Kerala is still collectively known as Syrian Christians. Much later, with the advent of the Dutch, the Portuguese and the English traders, came the European missionaries in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They found strong Christian communities in several places, owing allegiance not to the Pope or to the King of England, who was also Supreme Head of the Church of England, but to either the Patriarchs of Antioch or the Indian Bishops. The invaders tried to suppress the existing churches and force a shift in their allegiance to the heads of their own denominations. Efforts to enforce the supremacy of the Pope and Europe were summarily rejected by the Christians of Malankara, Kerala, at the Coonen Cross (Leaning Cross). However, people converted by the invaders and the European missionaries adopted the religious formats practised by these people. Thus, Roman Catholics, Methodists, CMS, LMS and

culturama | january 2012


House warming and groundbreaking ceremonies are conducted by Indian Christians too, although the sacred fire, the breaking of coconuts and other practices present in the Hindu version don’t find a place other denominations all existed in India. Post-Independence, many small groups of Christians were brought together under two major umbrellas – the Church of South India (CSI) and the Church of North India (CNI). These two groups, along with the Catholics and the Syrian Orthodox Church and the Mar Thomites (the last two belonging to Kerala), constitute the major Christian sects in India. The Indian denominations now even have a significant presence outside the country – chiefly in the United Kingdom, the United States, Malaysia, Singapore and the Middle-East – where there are large groups of Indian settlers. ‘For the Least of These, My Brethren’ The missionaries in India, apart from religious proselytising, focussed on three important aspects – Healthcare, Education and Social Reform. They started schools and hospitals; worked for the upliftment of the poor and marginalised; promoted women’s education and set up orphanages, homes for lepers and others who were socially ignored, including the aged. Believers’ Boroughs There are distinct pockets in India that have a strong Christian presence. Apart from Kerala and parts of Tamil Nadu, Goa has been a centre of Christianity, with St. Francis Xavier of Assisi working among the people there. The NorthEast of India – states such as Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram – also has a very staunch Christian population. These communities, mostly tribal in origin, are noted for their beautiful music. Centres of Devotion India has its share of Christian pilgrim centres – San Thome Basilica, where St. Thomas is believed to have been originally buried, and St. Thomas Mount and Little Mount in Chennai, a couple of churches in Kerala, including the Parimala Church, and the Bom Jesu Basilica in Goa are some of these. But perhaps the one that draws the biggest crowd of devotees is the Velankanni Church in Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam district. It has branches in Chennai and elsewhere, but it is the original shrine that is considered the


culturama | January 2012

photo Yngve Andersson, Sweden

most powerful – the place where the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared to sailors and others. Faith in fusion Christians in India have melded the symbols and rituals of their religion with the culture of this country. For example, while the ring is a symbol of marriage among Christians of all denominations in India, so is the ‘thali’ or ‘mangalsutra’, typically a Hindu feature. The Syrian Christian ‘thali’ for instance is a small, flat, roughly diamond-shaped piece of gold, symbolising the flower of the banana tree – fertility – embellished with a cross picked out in miniscule gold balls. It is worn on a gold chain, and is mandatory. Catholic nuns in India, irrespective of their order, mostly wear saris, either in pastel shades or printed with small motifs, instead of the Western traditional habit and headdress. Mother Teresa adapted the sari for her order, the Missionaries of Charity, and devised a distinctive garb in pure white, with broad ink-blue striped borders. Bishops of various Indian denominations also wear robes of the same saffron or beige shades used by Hindu sages, although they put on richly embroidered or brocade vestments for religious ceremonies. House warming and ground-breaking ceremonies are conducted by Indian Christians too, although the sacred fire, the breaking of coconuts and other practices present in the Hindu version don’t find a place. The kuthuvillaku or brass lamp is often present at Christian ceremonies, but with a cross as its crowning motif, instead of the peacock or figurine of a deity that is found in the ones used in Hindu households. The cross of St. Thomas is another example of how Indian spirituality has been incorporated into Christian symbols. Idols of the Virgin Mary are rarely portrayed in the conventional white robe and blue headdress; they are much more commonly displayed draped in saris. Just as there are umpteen wayside shrines to Lord Ganesh, little shrines dedicated to the Virgin Mother and other Saints are a common sight in many parts of urban and rural India.

culturama | january 2012


Look Who's In Town

Meet the winners of the Annual Beautiful India Photo Competition held by Global Adjustments


culturama | January 2012

Victoria Wlaka


What do you enjoy about taking photos in India? Learning about photography and taking photos in India have been the most rewarding experiences of my life. I started learning photography here in India, and I had great Indian teachers. Not only did it help me find my own space here, in India, but also gave me a chance to explore my creative side and grow as a person. But even more importantly, it gave me a chance to explore this fascinating country through my lens. It gave me a reason to travel a lot (Ladakh, Nagaland, Ajanta and Ellora, Amritsar, Varanasi and many other places), which made me comprehend the incredible diversity of this vast country. Taking photos and travelling in India contributed majorly to feeling comfortable in India, and losing my shyness and fear. The experiences that I had here, in India, which I have captured with my camera, will stay with me forever. What work do you or a partner do here? Back in Germany, I was a language teacher (Spanish and English). I am in India on a spousal visa. My husband Matthias works with Accenture. It has been a wonderful experience. One thing you have learnt from India and one thing you would like to teach India? India has taught me many things; probably more than I can tell you right now in this limited space. But most importantly, it taught me patience and that things sometimes function in a totally different way than in my country – but they do function in the end. If there is one thing that I would like to teach India, it would be that it is important to care of the environment and not just drop trash wherever one walks. It's been really great to connect through Global Adjustments and I thank you very much for giving me a platform to display my photos.

Naomi Hattaway Delhi Surajkund means Lake of the Sun and is an artificial Kund (‘Kund’ means “lake” or reservoir). It is said to have been built by the Tomar king Suraj Pal in the 10th century. Tomar was a sun worshipper. Every year, in February, one of the largest and most colourful craft festivals is held in Surajkund. First started in 1987, tradesmen (and women) from all over the country attend to sell their wares. There is an average of 400 stalls and the food festival is also a large testimony to the diversity of this country. During the crafts festival, there are various forms of entertainment that offer another peek into various cultures and backgrounds of different types of people in India. This photo was taken during what seemed like an impromptu and very casual dance. Pam Lattimore and I were making our way down to a shop, when we heard the bells on their ankles delicately announcing their presence. These women made their way towards us, in an S-shaped weaving pattern. It was amazing to watch them, with their arms interlocked, smiling demurely at each other, all the while. I posted it initially on my blog and then on my Facebook page and a friend wrote in response: This picture is gorgeous. Love the colours, bracelets, smoothness and femininity that it reveals. Beautiful! I responded: And to me, it also represents friendship – it was really cool to watch these women snake along the sidewalk with uniformity, rhythm, sync, trust and ease. Just beautiful. Looking back on the photo now, it also represents strength! (Turn to page 30 to read about Naomi’s contribution to Delhi.)

Elena Eder Chennai Elena is an Italian married to a German who currently calls Chennai her home. She is one of those rare enterprising women who has taken on not just travel and photography seriously but also helps everyone in her life understand India better – the way she has understood it. Elena does this each year by putting together a stunning calendar for charity with pictures shot across the length and breadth of the country, with witty captions too. She chose to have her second baby in India and recounts a wonderful, positive experience in this child-friendly country. So when it was time for the Italain-German duo for baby three, it’s no surprise that they chose the land of a billion.

culturama | january 2012


View from the Top

Dilli Heart 30

culturama | January 2012

Naomi Hattaway, an expat who lives in Delhi, has written and produced a unique childfriendly book – Delhi Bound, a book for kids that is as informative as it is entertaining



Close the Deal

Warrior Pose Raise your arms to the side with fingers pointed Take a big step to the side, with your right foot turned out and knee bent. Keep your left foot planted, your leg straight. Your upper body should be straight and strong, shoulders relaxed. Dont's hold your breath! Relax into the stretch and then gently release. Return to a standing position, switch sides, and repeat.

culturama | january 2012


How long have you been in India, and what is the reason for moving your family? We moved to Delhi during the Summer of 2009. My husband, Todd, is in the aviation business and a new job brought us to Delhi. We have three children - our oldest is in 11th grade, the middle in the 3rd and the youngest is in Kindergarten. When did the first idea for the book happen, and how long did it take for the book to become a reality? The idea for the book was actually Todd’s. He knows how much I love taking photographs of the places and things that our family experience. He also knows that I love to write and capture memories for our kids. He had been after me for quite some time to put the two together and create a book for our family – to encapsulate our time in Delhi. How long did the book take - from the initial idea to final print? It was actually a surprisingly short period of time! Because all of the photographs are my own, and because most of them had already been taken, it took just about six weeks from beginning to end. The neat thing about the book is that Mosaic Books, who printed the book for me, hand bound each and every book. Pretty neat! What niche do you aim to fill with this book? There is nothing else like Delhi Bound currently on the market. There are plenty of guide books, but there is nothing truly meant for a child. The combination of the vivid photos, the inclusion of child-friendly historical facts and tips about the city, and even helpful maps make it a book that really is desirable! It is my hope that children will use the book as a jumping off point for visiting places here in Delhi. I also feel strongly that children in other countries could use the book as a learning tool, even those who may never visit Delhi!


culturama | January 2012

Where can the book be purchased? Direct orders can be placed with me but the simplest option is to visit one of the Delhi Play Clan stores (Meher Chand Market or Saket Mall). Each book is just Rs. 500, and makes a perfect gift, keepsake or even a learning tool for children of all ages! What is next for you? I currently serve as the President of the American Women's Association and after two years in that role, I believe the next year will possibly bring more projects, maybe another book and definitely more time with my photography! I also blog at www.delhibound.com and I have a whole list of blog posts that are ready to be finished!

culturama | january 2012



* Event details are correct at the time of printing. However, we encourage readers to call and reconfirm at the venues concerned. Numbers beside each event indicate the date. Events are divided into categories like film, music, etc. Addresses and phone numbers of venues and places mentioned are listed under Venues.

Indomenco etc. Siri Fort Auditorium Complex, Asiad Village Complex, August Kranti marg, New Delhi. Zangoora – The gypsy prince The best Bollywood musical ever. Introducing a brand new genre of a entertainment where storytelling and Bollywood style Song & Dance meet stagecraft and technical wizardry like never seen before. Kingdom of Dreams, Sector 29. Gurgaon. +0124 4528000

aRT & EXHIBITION Cut.Cut.Cut – Play January 1, 19:00h CUT..CUT..CUT is a comic depiction of the tragedies of doing a comic play – a rare 'on stage' portrayal of 'back stage' drama. Script and Direction: Dr M Sayeed Alam Shri Ram Centre # 4, Safdar Hashmi Marg, Delhi (NCR) The Black Light Theater Show January 1—8 Kingdom of Dreams brings to you the Black Light Theatre or simply Black Theatre, it is a Theatrical performance style characterized by the use of black box theatre augmented by black light illusion. The theatre comes to India for the first time from Prague, Czech Republic to entertain Indian Audience in a fantastic way. Kingdom of Dreams, Sector 29. Gurgaon. +0124 4528000 January 4, 19:30h NRI Music and dance festival Swaranjali presents “NRI Music and Dance festival”. This festival gets dancers from all over the world like the USA, UK, Australia etc. Epicenter Institutional Area, Sector 44, Gurgaon. Contact : 0124 2715000 NRI Music and dance festival January 6, 19:30h Swaranjali presents “NRI Music and Dance festival”. The festival presents the trio tabla solo by Delhi artiste, vocal recital by a USA artiste and Sarangi, Flute and Sitar Trio. Epicenter Institutional Area, Sector 44, Gurgaon. Contact: 0124 2715000 Mozart Magic in India January 7—8, 19:00h The Neemrana Music Foundation in association with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations present a chosen collection from Mozart’s famous opera arias including the magic flute, the marriage of Figaro,


culturama | January 2012

Ecstasy January 1—7 A solo show of drawings & paintings in water colour and oil by Rohit Kumar Sharma. Habitat World, IHC, Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110003 Tel: 011 24682001 –09 Dented painted January 1—31, 11:00h Alex Davis presents 'Dented Painted' a tribute to the almost dying craft of denting and painting of automotives by small road side painters. The medium used is sheet metal, with high gloss paint finishes as in car paints. The works touch upon nostalgic references to roadside workshops, truck art, auto rickshaws etc.The colours are as vibrant as you can get on the Indian roads. The Aman with Apparao Gallery, Lodhi Road, New Delhi Thieving Magpie January 8—12 The Seagull Foundation for the Arts presents Digital Collages on Archival Paper by Sunandini. Habitat World, IHC, Lodhi Road, ,New Delhi – 110003 Contact: 011 24682001

wORKSHOPs & EVENTs Grand parade for Republic Day January 26 To mark the importance of Republic day, every year a grand parade is held in the capital, New Delhi, from the Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's Palace), along the Rajpath, past India Gate. Prior to its commencement, the Prime Minister lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, a memorial to unknown soldiers at the India Gate at one end of Rajpath, which is followed by two minutes of silence in the memory of unknown soldiers. Thereafter, he reaches the main dais at Rajpath to join other dignitaries, subsequently the President arrives along with the Chief Guest of the

occasion. First he unfurls the National flag, as the National Anthem is played, and a 21-gun salute is given. Next, important awards like the Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra are given away by the President, before the regiments of Armed Forces start their march past. The Beating retreat January 29 The Beating Retreat ceremony officially denotes the end of Republic Day festivities. It is conducted on the evening of January 29, the third day after the Republic Day. It is performed by the bands of the three wings of the military, the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. The venue is Raisina Hills and an adjacent square, Vijay Chowk, flanked by the north and south block of the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's Palace) towards the end of Rajpath.


Winter Sunday Brunch at Blooms January 1—30, Chase away the winter chill with the Winter Sunday Brunch at Blooms — 24 hrs coffee shop. Multicuisine buffet will include some of your favorite delicacies like sushi, live bar-be-que counters and unlimited beverages. Intercontinental Eros, Nehru Place, New Delhi, Delhi (NCR) India International Coffee Festival January 18—20, This festival aims to highlight the growing market for coffee consumption in India and provide a golden opportunity to the industry members dealing with coffee production, manufacturing and supplying to tap the unexplored areas by being a part of this event. The Lalit, New Delhi.

culturama | january 2012



* Event details are correct at the time of printing. However, we encourage readers to call and reconfirm at the venues concerned. Numbers beside each event indicate the date. Events are divided into categories like film, music, etc. Addresses and phone numbers of venues and places mentioned are listed under Venues.

aRT & EXHIBITION Indian Street Photography : Alive and Well Up to January 6 This exhibition presents a small selection of Indian street photography from the past three decades, featuring work by Ravi Agarwal, Pablo Bartholomew, Chirodeep Mumbai Art Room Pipewala Building, Rear Courtyard, Fourth Pasta Lane, Colaba, Mumbai – 400 005. Tel:+91-97699 50136

Western Music Concert January 9 The eminent soprano, Patricia Rozario, with Joanne D’Mello (soprano) and Susanna Hurrell (soprano), present a virtuosic programme celebrating the female voice – Three Tenors style! The concert comprises an entertaining variety of arias – solo, duets and trio – taken from popular operatic repertory, including Handel, Mozart, Puccini and Lehar. They will be accompanied by the reputed pianist, composer and broadcaster, Mark Troop. Patricia Rozario undertakes this recital with a commitment to offering young vocalists performance opportunities in recognition of their talent. Tata Theatre, NCPA Marg & Dorabji Tata Road, Nariman Point, Mumbai – 400 021. Contact: 022 66223737

SOLILOQUIES: Notes from the drawing book Up to January 28 By Sunil Padwal 'Soliloquies: notes from the drawing book' consists of four series of small format drawings made on pages of his diary. His soliloquies are memories and observations of a city, yet fictional and universal simultaneously. Gallery BMB Queens Mansion, Gr. Floor, G. T. Marg, Next to Cathedral School, Fort, Mumbai – 400 001. Contact: 022 61715757


Mercury in the Mist A Documentary film by Amudhan R.P. January 30, 19:00h It’s a campaign documentary about the plight of the environment and ex-workers affected by mercury pollution. Why democracy – Please vote for me A Documentary film by Weijun Chen 30th January’2012: 19:00h Why Democracy? Please Vote for Me is a portrait of a society and a town in through a school, its children and its families. It is here that director Weijun Chen has conducted an experiment in democracy. A Grade 3 class at Evergreen Primary School has their first encounter with democracy by holding an election to select a class monitor. Entry free on first come first Basis. Prithvi Theatre 20, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road, Mumbai – 400 049. Tel : +91-22-2614 9546.


culturama | January 2012

Capoeira Classes Children:1800h – 1900h, Beginners: 1900h – 2030h Capoeira is a Brazilian form of dance and martial art, specializing in synchronising the moves to music. 'Cordao De Ouro India' is the first Capoeira Group in India started by Monitor Baba. S.S. Sahani School 8th Road, Khar (West), Mumbai – 400 051. Contact 9869055371 Parasailing Till Sunset , 10:00h, If you're looking to get your adrenalin pumping, try something different this week. H20 promises that its instructors have experience of over 5,000 flights and there are certified life guards hovering nearby, just in case. H2O, Netaji Subhashchandra Bose Road,

Chowpatty, Mumbai Phone : 2367 7546 Aerobic Classes Ongoing, Monday to Friday 0700h – 0800h and1900h – 2000h Women’s Graduates Union, Colaba Aerobic classes conducted by well-known trainer at Women's Graduates Union. Sasoon Dock Cross Rd, Near BPT Garden Colaba , Mumbai 400 005 9820324162

FOOD & SHOPPING New BBQ Menu Upto Monday , 30th January’ 2012 At Malt & Pepper, Fort. 1200h to 0100h This winter indulge in some delicious BBQ delights at Malt & Pepper. Enjoy Tandoori baby potatoes (v), Skewered vegetables (v), Chilli Pesto Cottage cheese (v), Basil Parmesan chicken,Malt & Pepper Chicken kebab, Lemon grass chicken with peanut sauce, Mint and Chilli fish kebab,Jamaican Jerk chicken drumsticks. Malt & Pepper Next to Sterling Cinema, Fort, Mumbai – 400 023. Contact: 02222037356 Strawberry Festival at Café Mangii Upto January Tuesday 31st ,2012 Khar and Powai Celebrate the arrival of the winter marvel, ripe and juicy strawberries. The heart-shaped scintillating fruit is the perfect winter kickoff to warm your senses. Enjoy an exotic array of strawberry— inspired cocktails like Strawberry Martini, Strawberry Margarita or the all-time favorite Strawberry Smoothie. Complement this treat with sinful desserts like Strawberry Cheesecake or the Chocolate coated Strawberry with a rich blend of Champagne Jelly. Café Mangii Junction of Khar Pali & 14th Road, Off Linking Road, Khar west, Mumbai – 400 051.

culturama | january 2012



Fusion dream- Carnatic Jazz & World Fusion concert 7 January, 1830h SPARSH Foundation presents A Carnatic Jazz and World Fusion Concert 'FUSION DREAMS' by featuring the legendary musician Padmavibhushan Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna and Dr. Jyotsna Srikanth (Indian Classical and World Fusion Violinist – UK) for the first time in an experimental concert. Ravindra Kalakshetra Town Hall,Next To Puttanna Chetty Jayachamaraja Road Bengaluru

* Event details are correct at the time of printing. However, we encourage readers to call and reconfirm at the venues concerned. Numbers beside each event indicate the date. Events are divided into categories like film, music, etc. Addresses and phone numbers of venues and places mentioned are listed under Venues.

National College Grounds Travel & Tourism Fair 13 January, All Day, Event occurs every day Bengaluru is India's leading exhibition for the travel and tourism industry. Since 1989, the fair provides an annual opportunity for organisations from India and abroad to showcase their products and services to a large cross-section of the travel trade and consumers across major markets in India. Palace Grounds Jayamahal Road, Palace Grounds Bangalore 560080 Tool Tech Trade Fair 19 January, All Day, Event occurs every day Tooltech, the absolute leading trade fair for the sector and venue for the highest provider and user competence, exhibitors from all over the world once again will put their efficiency and innovative power to the test before the best qualified international specialists. Bangalore International Exhibition Centre 10th Mile, Tumkur Road, Madavara Post, Dasanapura Hobli, Bangalore

Ek Shaam Kishore Ke Naam 8 January, 1750h Klub Kishore Kumar. Musically inspired presents Ek Shaam Kishore Ke Naam. Grand LivYavanika State Youth Centre, Nrupatunga Road, Bengaluru Nirantharam 2012 – Grand Violin Duet and Bharatnatyam Performance 8 January, 1700h, 1915h Nirantharam 2012 – Grand Violin Duet by Ganesh –Kumaresh. Bharathanatyam by Dr. Vyjayanthimala Bali. Chowdiah Memorial Hall Gayathri Devi Park Extension, 16th Cross, Malleswaram, Vyalikaval, Bengaluru

aRT & EXHIBITION The Ramayana Carnival January 1, 1030h to 1830h Dhaatu Center for Sharing presents The Ramayana Carnival. Organised by Adamya Chetana, Bengaluru National College Grounds Basavanagudi Bengaluru


culturama | January 2012

wORKSHOPs & EVENTs Balanced Scorecard January 10, All Day, Event occurs every day Example Consulting Group is conducting immensely practical Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Black Belt and Balanced Scorecard Training and Certification public workshops at Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi/NCR, Mumbai/Pune. Balanced Scorecard Certification Training @Bangalore 12th Avenue, 614/615 12th main HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, Bangalore Qigong workshop at SMART January 14, 7.30h, Event occurs daily Qigong workshop at SMART. Chi or Qi means energy. Kung or Gong means work. Therefore Chi Kung also called Qigong means the work one does to cultivate energy over time. It is a 5,000-year-old Chinese healthcare modality that has endured the test of time and is making a tremendous resurgence at the beginning of the 21st century. SMART

3 Curley Street, Richmond Town, Bangalore - 560025 IMTEX Forming January 19, All Day, Event occurs daily International Forming Technology Exhibition is going to be a five-day event that will be held in Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre. The programme is going to be organised by the Indian Machine Tool Manufactures Association. The fair will be concentrating on technological development. Bangalore International Centre TERI Complex, 4th Main, 2nd Cross, Domlur II Stage, Bangalore

FOOD & SHOPPING Royal Dinner @ Dum Pukht Jolly Nabobs January 1, All Day Take a journey on the Raj Era with our Royal Repast Menu paired with the best of malts and wines. ITC Royal Gardenia No.1, Residency Road, Bangalore Grand New Year Parties Champagne Brunch at Mynt January 1, All Day Grand New Years' Champagne Brunch at Mynt. Treat yourself to a fabulous lunch with an extensive buffet along with unlimited Moet et Chandon Champagne along with a live band and special entertainment activates for kids in the lawns Hotel Taj Westend Bangalore New Year Day Lunch at Rim Naam January 1, 1230h Celebrate the first day of the Year 2012 at Le Jardin with relaxed splendour. The buffet spread with unlimited pour of sparkling wine and Champagne is the perfect way to begin the New Year. The Oberoi No. 39 , MG Road, Bangalore

culturama | january 2012



* Event details are correct at the time of printing. However, we encourage readers to call and reconfirm at the venues concerned. Numbers beside each event indicate the date. Events are divided into categories like film, music, etc. Addresses and phone numbers of venues and places mentioned are listed under Venues.

aRT & EXHIBITION Children’s art exhibition 21 December through 31 January, everyday between 10.00 am and 5.00 pm DakshinaChitra, ‘a centre for the living traditions of art’ just outside Chennai, will display illustrations from Tulika’s books as part of its exhibition on children’s literature which, among other things, emphasises treating a picture book as art. DakshinaChitra, East Coast Road, Chennai. 24462435 or 24918943

Margazhi- Music 1st January 6:00 PM K.J. Yesudas (Vocal), Nagai Muralidharan (Violin), Tiruvarur Bhaktavatsalam (Mrudangam), Tirupunithura N. Radhakrishnan (Ghatam) MFAC Hall, The Mylapore Fine Arts Club, Musiri Subramaniam Road, Mylapore T.N. Seshagopalan (Vocal), Delhi P. Sundararajan (Violin), R. Ramesh (Mrudangam) 2nd January 7:00 PM Jaigopal Garodia Hindu Vidyalaya, Postal Colony, West Mambalam (Rasika Fine Arts)

Travel & Tourism Fair 6th January to 8th January Travel & Tourism Fair is India's leading exhibition for the travel & tourism industry. The fair provides an annual opportunity for organisations from India and abroad to showcase their products and services to a large cross section of the travel trade and consumers across major markets in India. Rajah Muthiah Hall Egmore, Chennai

Re-Live MD. Rafi & Kishore Kumar 15th January 6:30 PM Power of A's, popular among the Chennai and Bangalore crowd for their Md.Rafi shows are presenting Md.Rafi & Kishore Kumar songs together for the first time - " Re-Live Md.Rafi & Kishore Kumar " sung by Md.Aslam of the A.R.Rahman group and Hamid Khan of Mumbai. A never miss event for Md.Rafi & Kishore Kumar fans. Music Academy TTK Road, Chennai

wORKSHOPs & EVENTs CHADAR - The Frozen River Trek 23 January to11 February This winter, join Travelling Lens on an epic adventure taking you far from your urban comfort zone onto the sub-zero surface of the Chadar. Interact with and photograph the time-aged Ladakhi & Zanskari people, trek on the frozen river, camp in caves and dine on fabulous hot meals cooked by your own highaltitude-extreme-weather master chef. contact@travellinglens.net http://travellinglens.net/ +91-97907-70679 First Rush - 90 hours to get your stage experience January14th & 15th 10:00 AM Evam's fun theatre workshop is back. Learn the fine art of acting and putting up a theatrical performance


culturama | January 2012

FOOD & SHOPPING Patchwork Festival Until January 31st The Silk Route brings to you an exquisite collection of quilts,cushions, home furnishings as well as delightful stoles and accessories like hats and jewellery. Come join us during this festive season and celebrate our Patchwork Festival with us! We also have a collection of patchwork dolls and activity kits for children! The Silk Route, Harrington road No:14, 2nd avenue , Chetpet, Chennai- 600031

Priya Sisters (Vocal), B. Raghavendra Rao (Violin), Patri Satish Kumar (Mrudangam), B.S. Purushotham (Khanjira) 3rd January 6:30PM Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha Vidya Bharati, Bheemasena Garden Street, Opp. Sanskrit College, Mylapore Gokula Thilaka Srikrishna 2nd January 7.15 PM J. Suryanarayanamurthy & disciples present 'Gokula Thilaka Srikrishna' - thematic Bharatanatyam performance Sri YGP Auditorium, Off: 16 Thirumalai Road, T.Nagar, Chennai 17. Phone: 28343045, 28173596

over a 2-day intensive course followed by a month long, 1-hour-a-day rehearsal session that concludes with you getting on stage for your first ever performance. Get ready to have fun and enjoy the applause that follows. Contact: +91-080-42064969, 98406 12333

The Bayleaf Festival Until January 7th There is a common misconception that vegetarian dishes are boring. This culinary masterpiece will help clear it. Presenting the Hari Mirchi Ka Paneer Tikka. Devour it. Before it devours you. 6th St, Gopalapuram Chennai- 600086 044 2811 4557

culturama | january 2012


Holistic Living

e k nat h eswa r an

King's plight Like Dhritarashtra, we too are about to listen in on a hidden dialogue, not one far away but deep within the heart. And while we too are unable to watch, the Gita will let us hear – and, more important, help us to understand.

photo alejandra montanaro, italy


culturama | January 2012

culturama | january 2012


Close your eyes. You have been blind like this from birth, ruler of a kingdom you cannot see, dependent on the advice of those around you, some wise, most otherwise. Your choices of whom to listen to and whom to ignore have led to a war that will end in ruin for both sides. Unable to watch the pending catastrophe with your own eyes, you appeal to your charioteer, who possesses extrasensory vision: Tell me, Sanjaya, what is happening on the field of battle, the field of dharma, where my army and my enemies have gathered for war. (1:1) So the Bhagavad Gita begins, with the words of the blind king Dhritarashtra, whose crippling attachment to his selfish sons has split his dynasty in two. This is also the last we shall hear from him, for the Gita has very little to do with his story or his war. Yet this opening verse makes a haunting introduction to the theme of a war within, and Dhritarashtra’s plight is a sobering reminder that each of us, too, has probably made blind decisions that have left us perplexed about how we got here and how to face a future that we ourselves have helped to create. Clearing up this confusion is the purpose of the Gita, so we shall spend no more time with blind kings and their stories. It is not Dhritarashtra who stands for us but Arjuna, a warrior who seeks understanding of life, death, and duty from his charioteer, Sri Krishna, a divine incarnation who has chosen him as his disciple and friend. Like Dhritarashtra, we too are about to listen in on a hidden dialogue, not one far away but deep within the heart. And while we too are unable to watch, the Gita will let us hear – and, more important, help us to understand. To be continued next month…

Publisher’s Note This book has been produced by Eknath Easwaran’s senior editors, long-time students who worked closely with him since his first book in 1970 and were charged by him with continuing to compile his books from transcripts of his talks after his passing. In his last editorial planning meeting, in 1998, Easwaran gave instructions about the books in progress that he wanted completed from his unpublished transcripts, outlines, and notes. Essence of the Bhagavad Gita is the first of those posthumous projects to be published, ­Easwaran’s final distillation of the Gita’s teachings. It is something rare and precious: the legacy of a gifted teacher sharing a lifetime’s immersion in a sacred text, conveyed in his talks and informal sessions with some of his closest students. It is a great privilege to pass such a work as this on to Easwaran’s readers around the world.

Join us every Saturday India Immersion Centre in Chennai facilitates a weekly spiritual fellowship group following Easwaran’s Eight Point Programme of Meditation in Chennai. E-mail us for more information at contactiic@globaladjustments. com and Lakshmi Menon at 9710947713. If you are in other cities visit www. easwaran.org for e-satsangs.

Reprinted with permission from “Essence of Bhagavad Gita” http://www.easwaran.org Eknath Easwaran (1910–1999) founded the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in 1961. The Center offers books and retreats based on the eight-point program of passage meditation that Easwaran developed, taught, and practiced. To learn more, visit http://www.easwaran.org


culturama | January 2012

culturama | january 2012


Photo Feature

v atsa l y a janani

New BEGINNINGS IN THIS New Year special edition of Culturama, we have put together pictures from our annual photo competition that have a whiff of freshness – a new dawn, a whole new world, resurgence of faith and budding of new hope and promises. The pictures here, shot across different corners of the country, symbolise purity – in the virgin beauty of the Himalayas; a fresh new start at a traditional Indian wedding; the light of new dawn on the mountains and spiritual knowledge at Amritsar. Although every state and community in the country celebrates a New Year at different times across India based on lunar and solar calendars, January 1 brings everyone together in a festive fervour. It is also noteworthy that the Indian financial year begins in April. On this day, people wear new clothes, queue up outside temples for special darshans (glimpse of the divine) and special New Year mass and namaz (prayers) are held.


culturama | January 2012

culturama | january 2012


Star Struck

an indian y o u s h o u l d k n o w

Meet the president This January, as India celebrates its 62nd Republic Day, meet Pratibha Patil, the first woman President of India! Pratibha (meaning intelligence and splendour) Devisingh Patil, born in 1934 in Nadgaon village of Jalgaon District, Maharashtra, and was sworn in the 12th President of India on July 25, 2007. She is the first woman to have been elected to this position. With a Master’s degree in Political Science and Economics and another degree in Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from the Government Law College, Bombay (Mumbai) she was already holding a prestigious Governor’s position in the state of Gujarat before being elected to the Presidential office. In the early days of her career she was a practising lawyer at the Jalgaon District Court and was also involved in various social activities. Patil entered the political arena at the young age of 27. She successfully contested her first election to the Maharashtra State Legislature from the Jalgaon Assembly constituency. She was elected four times as MLA. She also served as a Member of Parliament (MP)


culturama | January 2012

in the Rajya Sabha from 1985 to 1990 and was later elected as an MP in the 1991 General Elections from the Amravati constituency. She is among the very few people in the country who has not lost even a single election that she contested till date.

Presidential Priorities - The President of India is the first citizen of the country, constitutional head and also the Supreme Commander. - The President also has the power for pardon and clemency for those sentenced to death. - The President of India has the power to declare the state in three kinds of emergencies: national (war, external aggression etc), state (breakdown of constitutional machinery) and financial (threat to financial stability). - The President appoints members to many other important positions such as the Governor’s position for all the states in the country!

culturama | january 2012


Rising India

La k s h mi K r upa

Destiny’s Child Meet Judy Balan. Author of Two Fates – The Story of My Divorce…

The title of the book is enough to catch one’s attention – a parody of author Chetan Bhagat’s novel Two States – The Story of My Marriage. In an interview following her book launch, the author lets us in on the story behind the title, getting published, being a single mum and more. You must have had many people ask you if your first book is autobiographical. But what really drove you to write this book? Reallife experiences or is it purely an exercise in fiction? No, like I keep saying (and there's a disclaimer in the book even) this is not the story of my divorce. This is a fun, breezy read that should hopefully give you plenty of laughs. As opposed to the story of my divorce, which would make a Stephen King-like book! So yes, it's fiction through and through. Was the title an afterthought or was it planned? And why the pun of Chetan Bhagat's title? Well, I never planned on writing a novel let alone a parody. It all just happened almost by accident. I was in


culturama | January 2012

Landmark, browsing, when I spotted the parody of Eat Pray Love. Since I'm a big fan of Eat Pray Love, I picked it up and learnt later that the writer of the parody had already sold movie rights. It just so happened that I was reading Two States at this time, so I wrote a blog post saying how cool it would be if I wrote a parody of Two States. It was a joke. I had even given away the title of the book as I had no intention whatsoever of writing it. But I got many responses to that particular post and blog readers started writing in, saying I should give it a shot. So, I did. Until that point, I thought writing books wasn't something I could attempt but because of persistent suggestions, I gave it a shot. And voila! So, no, none of it was planned! In retrospect, it all seems most serendipitous! How hard or easy was it to get your first book published? Were there many rejections along the way? Funnily, it was extremely easy. I sent the manuscript out to just about four publishers who were accepting manuscripts online. I sent it in September

and I got the offer in November. I signed the contract in December! So like I say, my struggle was entirely with life, not writing. I suppose we all have to struggle somewhere! Did you always want to be a writer? Well, yes. I've always been into some form of writing but I was a copywriter for about five years and that's really not the same thing as being a writer. But like I said, I didn't even think on the lines of writing a book someday because I was quite sure I didn't have what it takes. What is the book really about? And who is it for? What can readers look for in Two Fates? The book is supposed to entertain you – there is no deep message, no serious analysis, no radical points of view. It's just a breezy book that should hopefully give you plenty of laughs. So if it doesn't do that, then it's failing. But that's really all I wanted to do with this book. Two Fates – The Story of My Divorce is available in bookstores across India. Find it online at www.flipkart.com.

culturama | january 2012


Myth & Mythology

D e v dutt pattanai k

Different Expressions The same devotion is expressed differently for different gods: bilva for Shiva, tulsi for Vishnu, grass for Ganesha, hibiscus for Kali and sesame for Hanuman!


culturama | January 2012

Timeless by Tradition A Swiss Destination A Timeless Spring

One hour east of Zurich, deep in the ruggedly picturesque Tamina Gorge beats the heart of the famous Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, a luxurious and unique destination of hotel, Spa, golf and fine food. The resort was voted No. 1 wellness hotel of the Year 2010 and 2011 in Switzerland. Says Carmen Heinrich, the Delhi-based Director Business Development for the Indian market, “It is the legendary spring that has provided the resort with body-temperature thermal spa water for centuries. It forms the basis for a unique synthesis of wellbeing and health. We are proud of a history that goes back 800 years.”

A history full of health and wellness

Early 1500s saw the rise of the healer, Paracelsus. In 1716, the first baroque bathhouse in Switzerland was born in Pfäfers. From the 1840s, as thermal water flowed into the village of Ragaz , it became a renowned health resort. Luxury hotels were built to accommodate the nobles. The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is a haven of inspiration and savoir vivre. Johanna Spyri was the first to entice the whole world with her legendary “Heidi” tale.

Grand style meets contemporary design: hotel accommodation

A feel good experience all seasons

The Grand Hotel Quellenhof, built in 1869 is truly grand, combining tradition and elegance. Listed in‘The Leading Hotels of the World’ and one among the Swiss Deluxe Hotels, the rooms in the Grand Hotel Quellenhof are lavishly spaced and graced with a luxurious ambience. The new Spa Lofts and Spa Suites are veritable oases of wellbeing for body and spirit. Each bathroom has its own thermal spa water supply and a magnificent view of the Alpine panorama. “Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz” is a symbol of the sparkling future of Bad Ragaz. Staying in the heritage monument ‘Palais’ is an experience in itself.

A feel good experience all seasons “to B. Wellbeing & Spa.” Would connect you to your inner self as well as Nature. One of the Leading Spas of the World, the resort reflects elements of tranquility and balance. Experience the best of holistic massages, saunas, and the world’s first herbal steam bath embellished with Swarovski crystals in a sprawling 5,500-SqM hall.

Grand style meets contemporary design: hotel accommodation The Grand Hotel Quellenhof, built in 1869 is truly grand, combining tradition and elegance. Listed in‘The Leading Hotels of the World’ and one among the Swiss Deluxe Hotels, the rooms in the Grand Hotel Quellenhof are lavishly spaced and graced with a luxurious ambience. The new Spa Lofts and Spa Suites are veritable oases of well-being for body and spirit. Each bathroom has its own thermal spa water supply and a magnificent view of the Alpine panorama. “Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz” is a symbol of the sparkling future of Bad Ragaz. Staying in the heritage monument ‘Palais’ is an experience in itself.

Grand Resort Bad Ragaz***** 7310 Bad Ragaz, Switzerland www.resortragaz.ch culturama | january 2012


RM: When we say Happy New Year in India, it really depends on who we are saying it to, isn’t it? Other than January 1, we also seem to celebrate other dates as Tamil New Year, Telugu New year, and so on. The same way it is with the many Gods and many beliefs within one belief system! Tell us a story Devdutt, about tweaking your wish, to suit the wish giver/receiver? DP: A young girl and her father were on a pilgrimage. When they reached the temple of Shiva, her father said, “Let’s collect bilva leaves and dhatura flowers and offer them to Shiva to show our devotion.” This is what the father and daughter did. Then, they reached a Vishnu temple, and her father said, “Let’s collect tulsi leaves and offer them to Vishnu to show our devotion.” This is what the father and daughter did. Then they reached a Ganesha temple. On the father’s advice, the daughter offered blades of grass. At the temple of the Kali, the daughter was told to offer neem leaves and lemons. At the temple of Hanuman, she offered sesame oil. The daughter was confused, “You say all gods are actually one.” “Yes,” the father confirmed. “Then why different offerings to different gods?” “Because,” said the father, “each form is different and different forms need to be told the same thing in different ways. each time we have expressed our devotion but the vehicle of communication has changed depending on the preferences of the recipient. That is why the wild bilva and poisonous dhatura for the hermit Shiva; the fragrant tulsi for the romantic Vishnu; the rapidly regenerating grass for Ganesha who was resurrected with an elephant head; the sour lemon and bitter neem for Kali who consumes all things, negativity included, and sesame for Hanuman, the mighty wrestler, feared even by death.” Often, we want to communicate an idea to our customers. But we do not pay adequate attention to the method of communication. The method chosen should be the function of the customer. Different customers need different methods. But most corporations find the idea of customising methods of communication rather inefficient. So they try to come up with an efficient standard method of communication, often at the cost of effectiveness. Vishal had learnt in a training workshop the value of an ‘elevator speech’ to express his idea to a customer in less than a minute. He had used it many times. But it never had the desired effect – an appointment with the client. He wondered why. His colleague who had greater success with the elevator speech asked him over a cup of coffee, “In which language was the elevator speech for Mr. Masand?” English, said Vishal. “But you and I both know Mr. Masand prefers speaking in Hindi.”


culturama | January 2012

At that moment the penny dropped. While speaking to the customer, Vishal was focusing on what he wanted to communicate and not on how it was received by the customer. Communication is not so much about the idea but about the customer. The method of communication depends on the capacity, capability and intent of the customer, and not so much on the capacity, capability and intent of the communicator. The reference point is the customer and not the communicator. This is often forgotten. That is why the same devotion is expressed differently for different gods: bilva for Shiva, tulsi for Vishnu, grass for Ganesha, neem leaves and lemon for Kali and sesame for Hanuman!

culturama | january 2012


M a r ina M a r ang o s

India and I

Waiting for the


I don’t think that there is any corner of the globe where the name Gandhi doesn’t draw some recognition and respect. The “Mahatma” (great soul), as he was known, was small and spindly, quiet and intense – yet he was larger than life in the messages he delivered on a daily basis to the masses of people who became his followers. When he came to Delhi he lived in Birla House, which is found in Tees January Road, and it is there that I went to explore this well known personality one morning. The Mahatma is not only a figure of some reverence but also considerable controversy. The recent book that


culturama | January 2012

came out about his life “Great Soul; Mahatma Gandhi and his struggle with India” by Joseph Lelyveld made interesting allegations and outraged some circles here, while his own autobiography “The Story of my Experiments with Truth” is a must read for expats arriving here. You really need to explore his character and legacy yourself and come to the conclusion that is closer to your beliefs but there is no better way to do this then to wander around the garden where on that fateful day on January 30, 1948, he was assassinated, shot at point blank range by Nathuram Godse. You enter the compound and you are immediately on a

India’s only cultural magazine for expatriates.

Reach thousands of expatriates and Indians through


www.globaladjustments.com culturama | january 2012


An expat’s quest to learn about the Mahatma leads her to the Birla House in Delhi…

quiet and contemplative path, which on the one hand shows the Mahatma’s footprints as he walked to his prayers and on the other bears big notice boards full of interesting historical information about the struggle for independence starting from 1857 – 1947. At the end of this, and as a mark of reverence, you take off your shoes, and follow the little path up to where he fell and where his place of death is commemorated. Through an archway at the back is the prayer house with a series of paintings that again depict his life. The garden is well tended and beautiful and most people who visit are mindful of the historical significance of the place and speak in hushed tones. Volunteers impart some information that is welcome and show you the way. The house itself is preserved in the state it was when Gandhi lived in it, but perhaps rather unusually for a museum in India it has also been made interactive in a way that is appealing to young and old. There is a lot to touch and explore, to follow and find and this makes the experience that much more special. The first floor contrasts sharply with the second. On the first, the walls are covered with fascinating pictures of the time that explain their historical significance. His room is the essence of simplicity with a single charpoy, while his meeting room displays his rosary, his spinning wheel and his message delivered by the three monkeys – see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. It is a poignant moment when you see a picture of the Gandhi-ji with Sardar Patel taken on January 30, hours before his death. Everything is as it is depicted. There is no subject he did not touch on in his writings, from the position of women in society, the importance of education, the need to spin and produce at the village level, the subject of caste and untouchability and of course, his famous doctrine of non-violence. He was a prolific writer and there is a bookshop displaying most of his written work. As you head upstairs, the mood is radically changed. From being a rather stark but fascinating journey into history downstairs, on this floor you are invited to play and interact and explore. Perfect for kids who think that a day at a museum might be deathly dull. What they have achieved on this level is really quite appealing. I particularly enjoyed the actual train that “sets off” taking you on the various journeys of discovery that Gandhi went on after his return from South Africa. You work the levers and watch the train travel to its destinations while hearing the familiar toot-toot. Crystals recreate the salt on the Dandi March, while outstretched hands offer different images at the touch of a button. I was particularly moved by the Indian harp, which on the strumming of a string, will play one of the well-known freedom songs, while invisible laser beams act as triggers to music that comes from a circle. There are numerous spinning wheels all whirring away. Plenty of staff is on hand to help you with the explanations and the pressing of buttons. Perhaps more than any other Museum I have been to, this has made the interesting leap from not just being a collection of history but bringing alive some of the Mahatma’s lessons and guiding principles. One of my favourite quotes is “Simplicity is the essence of universality”. There is something to be said for simplifying our immensely complicated lives and living by simpler values.

Gandhi Smriti, 5, Tees January Lane, Birla House, New Delhi. Phone: 23012843. Timing: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Closed: Monday and some public holidays. 58

culturama | January 2012

culturama | january 2012


N ei l M i l l e r

Global Citizens

Hierarchy Hiccups A few months ago, this was the most popular picture in China. Is there anything striking about this shot of a man with his daughter ordering a morning coffee before a long flight? For the most part, there is nothing to notice. Unless you knew that this man is Gary Locke, the US Ambassador to China.

China, like several other Asian countries (including our own India), is very hierarchical in its structure: socially, in business, and especially in politics. The reason so many in China responded to this picture is that they are not used to seeing high-level diplomats (i) carrying their own backpack, (ii) owning a backpack, (iii) taking care of their own children and (iv) ordering their own coffee. In such structures, there is always someone else to do these tasks. For those in the West, hierarchy can be a dirty word. They like their leaders to be humble and their bosses to have open doors. However, before we go throwing away the idea of hierarchy, and assuming that everyone else should, another story should be shared. A client of ours was a leading executive of a foreign company that was facing some disputes regarding the land on which they were going to build a factory. Instead of relying on his mediators, this man decided that the solution was to cut through all the red tape and be a “man of the people”. He learnt a few words in the local dialect, put on his blue jeans, jumped on his motorcycle, and headed to the village to sort out the problem. The only problem was that when he arrived, the local people kept asking him when the real boss was going to show up. They didn’t want to talk to a man on a bike, they wanted to talk to a man with power who can command a large staff, drive up in a big car, and impose his will where needed. They were looking for someone to talk to who could go back and immediately get something done, and what they

saw in front of them was not that. Needless to say, the talks didn’t go so well. So, how should foreigners respond in new fields where the rules are different? Westerners coming to China, India or other hierarchical cultures could take a cue that while ordering your own coffee is one thing, you should be sensitive to the structures already in place and do your best to honour them, or you might end up doing more damage than good. For those travelling outside, it’s good to remember that if someone doesn’t seem to respect your title or tells you to make your own coffee, it’s nothing personal – just the way things are. For information on our training courses where we cover issues of hierarchy and many others, contact courses@ globaladjustments.com

Neil Miller is head of Business Strategy at Global Adjustments. He is American, and has lived in India for two years. For information on our training courses where we cover issues of finding middle ground in dealing with hierarchy and many other cross-cultural issues contact courses@globaladjustments.com 60

culturama | January 2012

kerala backwater bliss

milesworth holidays india • srilanka • maldives • and beyond

visit: www.milesworth.com Milesworth Travels & Tours Pvt. Ltd., 39 R M Towers, 108 Chamiers Road, Chennai. Tel: +91-44-24320522 / 24359554 Fax: +91-44-24342668 E-mail: holidays@milesworth.com culturama | january 2012


heart of



culturama | January 2012

I an W at k ins o n

Bursting the Bubble

The Western artist sees nature with his eyes and judges art by intellectual and aesthetic standards. The Indian seeks truth in his inner consciousness and judges its expression by metaphysical and imaginative standards. Art for him is not to please, but to manifest” said Ananda Coomaraswamy This simple synopsis of the unique and visionary historian, who in the early 20th century introduced ancient Indian art forms to the West, provides a key for Westerners baffled by the plethora of Indian art. India’s art forms are so diverse, and in many ways the history of India is enshrined in its art, but if we start with the right foundation stones our understanding of it will begin to grow. From the astonishing rock carvings of 2,000 years ago to the lost wax bronze casting process perfected over a thousand years ago, through the continuum of the application of paint and dye onto silk, canvas, plaster or palm leaf throughout India, the need to make the mundane into the magical has always existed. The remarkable skill sets of the artisans who created much of the Indian art works of antiquity are very much alive today, and these skill sets are not learnt in the art school or college, they are handed down from generation to generation, father to son. Great architectural structures dripping with the skill of masons are seen all over India, and similar principles and rules unite them all. It is certain that the history of a painting would have been unfolding in parallel to the stonemason’s skill, but much of this is lost – the climate is not kind to the longevity of paper, cloth and plaster. To the Indian artist, all of existence, all our tangible realities, is composed of the intangible, the divine within. The same principle as the

energies and transients sought avidly by modern quantum physics – the unique core of the manifested universe. The archetype of the Cosmic Dance of Shiva as Nataraja embodies this underlying concept so well – the cosmic beauty of interconnected energies from which all are made is a beautiful dance, enacted at the microscopic and macroscopic levels. This beautiful process underpins even the mundane; even the hardness of a stone is composed of the same energies and particles as the petals of a flower. So the Indian sculptural artist takes unyielding rough granite, sandstone or hard basalt blocks and in that stone he sees this Great eternal dance, this particle process, this cosmic glue of infinite beauty hidden and unrevealed to the uninitiated. His desire is to break this Cosmic beauty out of the dull looking stone and make it live, to be free and expressed. When he has finished, the beauty will be there for all to see… yet it is still the same stone. The same applies to paint, paper, plaster, wood, metal or any other material that can be converted from the seemingly lifeless and inert to becoming alive and displaying that great Dance that lies within all. Often, when we encounter Indian art, we see multiheaded gods and demons inhabiting fantastic worlds we cannot comprehend, and what we fail to see is the story underpinning the art that is fixed there for generations to come. Much of Indian history and the great epics such as the Mahabharata have been crafted by the masons’ chisels all over the sub-continent. For Western eyes, even those trained in the best schools of art, there is a different process of analysis wired into our mindset. Our art forms have historically always had a desire to capture reality as a copy, an image as seen by the artist with his own eye, much as a modern day digital camera – to portray every fold of skin, every sinew, every muscle, as did the ancient Greeks with their sculptures, Michelangelo with his sketches or latterly the Dutch artists of the 17th century golden era such as Vermeer or Rembrandt. In the marble sculpture work of the Greeks or Romans we see perfection of form. If we look at the Chola bronze figures of the 9th to the 13th centuries, we see a stylised interpretation of the human form portrayed, which is not only anatomically incorrect, in fact impossible, but also incredibly fluid and beautiful. Astonishing! If we study the fine detail in the Persian-influenced schools of miniature painting from Rajasthan, the huge murals adorning the walls of the temples and palaces of Kerala or the embossed and gilded paintings from Thanjavur, we see very different styles of execution and use of colour, but with the same ideas and philosophies underpinning them. Pattern is used to enhance paintings with great effect, again in an unrealistic way, and the use of perspective in Indian painting, long used in the West, was unheard of until the late 19th century when global art began to interreact and fuse. The traditional Indian artist isn’t trying to recreate reality as perceived by the human eye or brain – with every minutiae of reality documented true to life. He knows that the underlying cosmic idea of reality is in the materials already, and he has to reveal it to others. There is a great play being enacted and its theatre is hidden, the skill of the artist is to open the curtains so all can see.

The writer is British and lives in Chennai. culturama | january 2012


Vatsa l y a J anani

Cause and Effect

CULTURE CONSERVE CONNECT In a tete-a-tete, Dr. S. Suresh of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, (INTACH), talks about the organisation that helps preserve the splendours of India.

BIRTH India is a country of abundance when it comes to cultural, natural and architectural heritage. Indians are not overawed by antiquity because, for us, coming across ancient monuments and old heritage buildings is a part of everyday life, something that we don’t attach too much importance to. But, with urban development in full throttle, all these cultural glories are slowly losing importance. However, there is hope at the end of the tunnel in the form of INTACH, a non-governmental and non-profit organisation that has willingly shouldered the responsibility of preserving India’s cultural heritage. MODUS OPERANDI INTACH is headquartered in New Delhi. Its branches/chapters are spread across the country. Each chapter is headed by a convener, a co-convener and a multitude of volunteers from different walks of life. The organisation works on a project basis and depending on the venue of a project, the nearest chapter dives into action.


culturama | January 2012

When technical expertise is required, it hires the necessary professionals. The Indian government often forwards projects to them and sometimes private owners approach them too. ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF INDIA AND INTACH The ASI shares a friendly relationship with INTACH. Exchange of knowledge and ideas occur between these two giants and they often work together. In fact, the ASI has been instrumental in getting a law passed, that requires INTACH to be consulted regarding heritage conservation. REACHING OUT TO THE PUBLIC One of the basic objectives of INTACH is to reach out to the public. It designs and executes several awareness programmes for this purpose. These programmes mainly target children, enabling them to understand and enjoy the value of our heritage. It has collaborated with many schools and helped them establish Heritage Clubs. Lectures and cultural events are conducted for adults as well.

SUCCESS STORIES INTACH has been responsible for several milestones in restoration work. It has restored the painted the ceilings of Rashtrapati Bhavan (the Presidential house), New Delhi; has conserved the famous Ali Masjid (mosque) in Srinagar, Kashmir, and is working on the old Senate House at Faridkot, Punjab. It also conducts teacher training workshops, promotes traditional medicines and conducts workshops involving foreign technicians. One of the landmark restoration works of the Tamil Nadu chapter of INTACH has been on the historic Senate House building at the request of the University of Madras. For the past 11 years, the organisation has been delighting people with its theme-based tours – the Chola tour, Maratha tour, Nayak tour and the most interesting Roman Trail Tour, exhibiting the Roman connection – and has catapulted them to fame. The unique part of these tours is that they also serve the cuisine of that particular period!

God is more pleased with acts of devotion than with outward opulence

ABOUT the year 1003 A.D. Raja Raja Chola, father of the legendary king Rajendra Chola, decided to build a temple for Lord Shiva in Thanjavur (350 km from Chennai). It was to be known as the Brihadeswar temple and intended to be one of the most magnificent structures ever seen. Workmen and sculptors were brought in from all over the country. They toiled all day, digging the earth and chiselling stone. By evening they were completely exhausted. Near the site of the temple, which had now come to be known as the Big Temple, there lived an old woman called Alagi. Although she was weak and in poor health, Alagi wanted to do her bit for her king and for God. As she wandered around the site, she saw that the labourers wilted under the noonday sun, and could hardly lift their heads. Everyday Alagi made buttermilk with ginger and curry leaves. She poured it in earthen pots and served the artisans with her own hands. Revived by the drink the men found energy to work better, and for longer hours. Soon, many rich merchants and nobles competed with one another to contribute to the splendour of the temple. Lavish gifts and ornaments were given by the king’s sister and his four queens. Alagi, who also wanted to make a contribution, went to the chief mason and asked him to use a granite stone she had at the back of the house. Her neighbours laughed at her temerity, but the mason, who had seen her serving his people for many long years, agreed to use it as a coping stone. Six years later, the temple stood resplendent in all its glory. The king fixed an auspicious day for its consecration and hundreds of priests, cooks and entertainers were called up for service. The night before the ceremony, however, the king had a dream. Lord Siva appeared before him and said he would be pleased to reside under the shelter provided by Alagi.

The king was astounded. It was he who had planned and executed the temple project. His family, friends and allies had generously gifted money, images and jewels. Who was this Alagi, the Lord was speaking of? The next day the king sent out a search party for Alagi. She was soon found and brought before him. The monarch learned of her tireless efforts in taking care of the workers, and her humble offering of a stone. Humbled by her devotion, the king presented Alagi before the public before the consecration rites. He proclaimed that her simple devotion had won favour in the eyes of the Lord, over and above all the material riches that made up the temple. Today, Alagi is as much a part of the history of Thanjavur as any of its kings or saints.

culturama | january 2012


Tales of India

P r ema S ast r i

Simplicity of Power

D r . C h it h r a M ad h a v an

Must Stopover

The Eternal

Moment ONE of the most magnificent architectural creations of South India is the stately granite temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in the town of Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu), the capital of the mighty Chola dynasty.

Rocky History The most eye-catching feature of this temple is the soaring vimana or the superstructure above the main sanctum that houses a colossal stone linga (the symbol of Lord Shiva). This vimana, seen from miles around, rises to a height of about 196 feet from the ground. It was built of granite like the other parts of the temple. But where did these blocks of granite come from? Thanjavur, with its flat terrain, is not a hilly or mountainous region. Archaeologists state that each and every stone block came from Pudukottai, a rocky area more than 20 km away. Then followed the stupendous task of chiselling these blocks to the required shape and size and then placing them one upon another. Written Splendour The inscriptions of this temple, numbering more than a hundred, deserve a special mention. They are neatly etched on the walls of the temple, the majority of them being in Tamil and the ancient Tamil script. They mainly record the numerous donations made to the temple by emperor Rajaraja, his queens, his illustrious son Rajendra and other members of his family in the form of land, gold, jewels, etc. These epigraphs also reveal that this


culturama | January 2012

temple was a centre of the fine arts with many musicians and dancers attached to it. These artistes, who were greatly respected in society, sang and danced before the deity of this temple and were honoured by this king. Two long streets with numerous houses were allocated only for the four hundred lady dancers attached to this temple! Behind the Art The Brihadeeshwara temple is also known for the exquisite murals of the Chola times of the early 11th century A.D, adorning the walls of the dark circumambulatory passage around the main sanctum. Unfortunately, these murals were painted over by the artists of the Nayak times of the 17th century A.D. The Archaeological Survey of India is

now involved in the painstaking work of exposing these rare Chola murals, after removing the Nayak paintings, but without damaging the latter. Dance of the Past Another noteworthy aspect of this temple is a row of sculptures of the karanas (dance-poses) exactly as they have been described in the Natya Sastra, an important treatise on Indian dance. However, this series is incomplete with only eighty-one of the hundred and eight karanas having been sculpted here. Each of these sculptures depicts Lord Shiva as Nataraja (the Lord of Dance) with four arms in each of the poses – a very unique feature not found in any other temple. The Chola epoch is well-known for their superb bronze images of the Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu pantheon,

especially Lord Nataraja, the favourite deity of this dynasty. Rajaraja and his family donated a very large number of such bronze images to this temple and some of them can be seen here even today. Then & Now The Brihadeeshwara Temple in Thanjavur, consecrated on the 275th day of the 25th year of the emperor’s reign in 1010 A.D, must have been the main architectural attraction for the people of the Chola Empire. It continues to attract thousands of people every year, not only from India but from all corners of the world, as it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For more on Thanjavur, log on to www.ttdconline.com

culturama | january 2012


2010 Aruna Sairam

2011 Sudha Raghunathan and TM Krishna

2012 Guess who?

Coming Soon When a cultural icon embarks on a challenging new journey it is as exciting to watch it unfold as it is enriching. We have been truly blessed indeed for, at Global Adjustments, for the third time, we will not only create history but also touch the lives of thousands, with our signature tribute to India’s rich cultural heritage – Aikya 2012. Meaning ‘oneness’ Aikya’s 2012 edition, our largest and most ambitious project yet, will feature an iconic singer in a never-seen before avatar on a first-of-its-kind platform that will lead us on a soul searching journey across cultures and generations, to discover oneness. At Global Adjustments, our mission has always been to build bridges across cultures. We strongly believe in fostering relationships through the arts and strive to positively impact the community it serves. To that end, Aikya 2012, a 90-minute concert, will raise funds in support of Smrutha Dhvani, an initiative by Interface and Global Adjustments Services Pvt. Ltd. for retiring

artistes in the fields of music, dance and performance and empowering young girls by providing them with educational support. Aikya, an annual concert conceptualised by Global Adjustments, has had two consecutive years of incredible success in 2010 and 2011. Beneficiaries of Aikya The funds collected during ‘Aikya’ have been directed towards the ‘Smrutha Dhvani’ fund for retired accompanying artists and towards empowering young women with education. Mr. Ganesh, accompanyist on the tanpura, has worked with stalwarts including MS Subbulakshmi, ML Vasanthakumari, Yesudas, Ravi Shankar, Parveen Sultana and many others. Since most singers use an electronic music box instead of the tanpura these days, his income from concerts is meager. The money he receives from the fund now helps him pay for his meals and room rent.

Contact Global Adjustments for sponsorship opportunities: anupama@globaladjustments.com +91-9841654816


culturama | January 2012

culturama | january 2012


Space & The City

Global Adjustments

Owners, list your property with us for MNC clients. Renters and buyers, we are your one-stop shop for all real estate needs.

Easing your passage to and from India


15 years of bringing the world to India

Indira Nagar Independent Bungalow • • • •

Fully Furnished Independent Bungalow 3 Bedrooms Quiet Neighbourhood

Frazer Town Exclusive Apartment • • • • •

Fully Furnished Apartment Complex 2 Bedrooms/ 1 study Bar attached Quiet Neighbourhood

Central Bangalore Exquisite Apartment

Central Bangalore Spacious Apartment

• • • •

• • • •

Fully Furnished Apartment Complex 2 Bedrooms Quiet Neighbourhood

Fully Furnished Apartment Complex 3 Bedrooms Club House


For the above sample and many more such properties call 91 80 41267152/9986960315 or email: blr@globaladjustments.com

Powai: Exclusive Apartment

Malabar Hill Fully Furnished Apartment

Breach Candy Semi Furnished

Bandra west: Fully Furnished

• 5,200 sq. ft., 4 BHK with study • Marble Flooring, Balcony, Modular Kitchen • Car Parking, and Servant Room with Bathroom.

• 4,500 sq. ft. 4 BHK with Terrace • Furnished, Modular Kitchen, Marble Flooring • Car Parking and with Servant Quarter.

• 4,500 sq. ft. 4 BHK • Semi-furnished, Modular Kitchen, Marble Flooring, Peaceful Location • Car Parking and Servant Bathroom.

• 1,700 sq. ft. 3BHK • Furnished, Marble Flooring, Modular Kitchen • Car Parking and Servant Room with Bathroom


For the above sample and many more such properties call 91 22 66104191/9833392620 or email: mum@globaladjustments.com

Gurgaon , Beverly Park 1 Apartment for rent

Noida, ATS Greens Serviced apartment for rent

Delhi, Defence Colony Serviced apartment

Delhi, Vasant Vihar Property for rent

• 3 Bedrooms, Well-lit. • 100% Power Back-up, Security. • Tennis Court, Gym, Swimming Pool. • Well- located, Close to the Malls and the Metro Station.

• 3 Bedrooms • Aesthetically Furnished, Fully Serviced • Internet and Housekeeping • Clubhouse Facilities

• 3 Bedrooms, Brand New • Fully Furnished and Serviced • Internet, Housekeeping, Inverter Back-up • Air-conditioned, Aesthetic Interiors

• Four Bedrooms • Aesthetically Designed, with Character • Air-conditioned, 100% Power Backup.

For the above sample and many more such properties call 91 124 435 4236/9811111759 or email: del@globaladjustments.com Please note that any changes to the information above are done at the property owner’s sole discretion. Global Adjustments assumes no responsibility for such changes.


culturama | January 2012

culturama | january 2012


Space & The City

Global Adjustments Easing your passage to and from India

Owners, list your property with us for MNC clients. Renters and buyers, we are your one-stop shop for all real estate needs.


15 years of bringing the world to India

Apartments in high profile location Poes Garden •3,000/- sq.ft. / 3 bedrooms • One exclusive flat per floor • Each apartment has separate servant’s room and toilet • 2 covered car parks per apartment • Power back-up • Full building of 5 flats available • Suitable for consulates and corporate guest house

Beautiful Apartments Alwarpet • 2,100- sq.ft. / 3 bedrooms • Newly renovated • Quiet road • Fully airconditioned

Beautiful House for rent ECR

Beautiful House for rent Annanagar

Contemporary Duplex House OMR

• 6,000 sq. ft. • Four bedrooms plus formal and informal living rooms and entertainment room • Fully air-conditioned with power back-up • Swimming pool • Very close to the beach

• Brand new/Contemporary • 4,000 sqft • 5BR • Fully furnished with modern furniture • Fully air-conditioned

• 2,800 sq. ft., four bedrooms compliant with green building norms • Landscaped terrace, water bodies, art work • Fully furnished with contemporary, straight-line premium furniture.

For more such properties, call Global Adjustments at 91 44 24617902/9551695968 (Chennai), or e-mail: realty@globaladjustments.com Please note that any changes to the information above are done at the property owner’s sole discretion. Global Adjustments assumes no responsibility for such changes.


culturama | January 2012

culturama | january 2012



culturama | January 2012

culturama | january 2012


RNI NO.TNENG/2010/32752

REGISTERED No. TN/CC(S) Dn./396/10-12